Years ago, my husband and I were selling a property. We had a prospective buyers looking at the home. The entire time they were at the property they pointed out flaws; the bathroom was too small, the kitchen appliances were old. On an on they went. At the same time the wife kept sliding her hand across the counter top like it was velvet. After the showing, my husband said, “I don’t think they like the house at all.”
I replied, “oh no, she loves the house. They are going to buy it. They’re trying to get it at a bargain price.” Sure enough, an offer came and they happily paid full price.
If you are planning on listing your home or if it is not selling, walk through the house using your senses, like a buyer would. Buyers use all of their senses while they shop and together they trigger an internal switch: this is the one. The big turn on is cleanness. If the counter top was sticky or dirty, I don’t think I would have sold the house so quick. I have had buyers that would not even consider dirty homes; even after they were discounted. So spend the time and money to clean your home completely! It will lead to shorter market time and a higher price.
I had seller list his home because he was tired of all the stairs, he had over 15. One cold and rainy afternoon we shopped. We visited a home with nearly as many stairs. Only this one had a cozy fire blazing in the fireplace and the house smelled like Mrs. Seller had an apple pie in the oven. It was the one he chose, even with all the stairs! The feelings the buyer experienced between the warm fire and smell triggered the home feeling for him.
The biggest scent no-no’s are foul odors, like pets or smoke.
Naturally, your property has to appeal to the buyer’s vision; what they think is important. Which can be very different than what you feel is a priority. So make your home a blank slate that they can vision their dreams. De-cluttering is very important you want the buyers to see your home not all your wonderful decorations. You may find it necessary to remove some furniture to give the home some space. Although some pieces help with the vision process; most people do not translate a 14’x 14’ room. But they can see if their furniture will fit by making a visual comparison of yours. In fact they do it all the time.
Curb appeal is probably the most important detail of reining in a buyer. Most buyers have decided if they are going to buy a house before they even get inside, just by the way it looks outside. The reasoning is, if the seller takes care of the exterior, you know they take care of the inside. So, seal the deck, wash the house, plant flowers. Keep the drive way clean. Make your home shine.
Another important thing home buyers consider is neighborhood noise, especially barking dogs. Unfortunately, not much you can do about a neighbor’s dog. I keep an ear out and bring to the buyers attention that the dog only barked when we arrived. That’s actually a good thing!
Ok, I must admit. I have never had a buyer taste a house. So maybe I should have titled this the four senses of home shopping.
If you have a real estate question, I’d love to hear from you. Please call or text 909-338-9995 or e-mail me at Rlabadie2014(at)gmail(dotted)com. Rosemarie Labadie, Broker, Crestline Real Estate, CA BRE # 01240715